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JK Rowling Dicusses Life-Changing Books, eBooks and More in New Interview

JKR Interviews
Posted by: Stephanie_J
June 03, 2011, 06:55 PM

The June 2011 issue of the literary magazine Words with Jam recently published an exclusive interview with Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Ms. Rowling talks about some of her favorite books to read as a child, the challenge of balancing a family and writing, her (messy!) work space, and her opinion on the eBook debate.

The interview is available to read for free online beginning on page 6.

Some excerpts from the interview:

What was your favourite childhood book, or books?

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. The tone is perfect; a seamless mix of the fairy-tale and the real. It also has a plain heroine, which delighted me beyond words as a child, because I was a very plain little girl and I hadn’t met many literary heroines who weren’t breathtakingly pretty. The opening paragraphs of The Little White Horse have stayed with me all my life. Goudge says that there are three kinds of people in this world: those who find consolation in food, those who find consolation in literature, and those who find consolation in personal adornment.

I know I read Little Women when I was eight, because we moved house shortly afterwards, when I was nine. Naturally, I whole-heartedly identified with Jo March, she of the burning literary ambition and short temper. My mother had everything Georgette Heyer ever wrote, so I whipped through those, too, when I was a pre-teen, and I FINALLY found a plain heroine there, too (Phoebe, in ‘Sylvester’, who also – hooray! - happened to be a writer).

Basically, I lived for books, and was sustained by literary characters with whom I could identify – I was your basic, common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles.
Ebooks - Nemesis or Genesis?

Genesis. There’s no point trying to hold back progress, but print will never die; there’s no substitute for the feel of an actual book. I adore physically turning pages, and being able to underline passages and not worrying about dropping them in the bath or running out of power. I also find print books objects of beauty, and I don’t speak as a precious, first-edition-mustn’t-crack-the-spine-type collector, but as somebody who loves a shiny new paperback, and the smell of second-hand books.

However, there are times when e-books are a Godsend. We forgot to pack my youngest a bedtime book when we were away last year, and I truly appreciated the magic of being able to download one in seconds! This summer will be the first time that I take away fifty e-books to read while we’re on holiday, rather than filling up my suitcase with print books.

Which word or phrase do you overuse – in writing or in life?

I’m not proud to say that it’s probably swearwords in every day life. Writing the Harry Potter books, I got sick to death of the words ‘passage’, ‘corridor’ and all others relating to my heroes’ endless movement around Hogwarts castle.

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42 Comments

Daniel_radcliffe_being_perfect_thumb
524 Points

Love you Jo!!!!
Great interview, I’m so glad she’s stayed normal (as everyone else is saying) despite her fan and fortune. Most stars turn bad in the first year or so, but Jo, who has created one of the biggest phenomenons of all time, has stayed perfectly normal after more than a decade!!!

Posted by Potterhead777 {ROAR!} on June 05, 2011, 09:05 PM report to moderator
Daniel_radcliffe_being_perfect_thumb
524 Points

Oops, forgot to add, Jo looks really different in the pic. Anyone else, or is it just me?

Posted by Potterhead777 {ROAR!} on June 05, 2011, 09:07 PM report to moderator
377029_1659854834071_1768172201_813069_1187891830_n_1__thumb
673 Points

it’s always awesome to read new information about Jo, it was a great interview indeed. she has always inspired me since I read my first copy of philosopher’s stone and I love that she has remained so grounded amidst it all :)

Posted by mencia on June 06, 2011, 04:24 AM report to moderator
Epjpegutil31_thumb
4208 Points

Thank you, Jo, for the interview and for writing such great books. I agree with her comment that an e-book is handier when you travel, but nothing beats the smell and feel of a brand new book. I like to read and reread my books, and keep favorite books for a very long time. I can imagine how hard it would be to write about Hogwarts and try to find new and different ways to describe the corridors, classrooms, and locations. A good interview!

Posted by Fresca ROAR on June 06, 2011, 02:59 PM report to moderator
Raven_avatar_thumb
80450 Points

Ya gotta love Jo!

Posted by Won_Two on June 06, 2011, 03:31 PM report to moderator
Avatars_movie_hbp_feb08_005_thumb
187 Points

hi please join my call of duty modern warfare 2 group!
http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/myleaky/groups/10554
thanks:)

Posted by THEWIZARDGAMER-ARLEN on June 07, 2011, 12:05 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
314 Points

Oh sad, she likes e-books! Bother. I normally agree with her on most things. :( Well all right, I’d be okay with them if we were all ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the publishing industry would hold up and real books would continue to exist, but we aren’t, so for now they are my personal nemesis. At least she seems to prefer real books.

Posted by Libby on June 07, 2011, 02:31 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
33 Points

Am I the only one that got sick of her describing Crookshanks as looking like a “furry ginger cushion”?? Couldn’t he just once be a squashy orange hairball? Seriously, though, Jo, that’s my only complaint. ; )

Posted by RAVEN on June 07, 2011, 10:31 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
10471 Points

I’m excited! Need to buy a kindle now. . . !

Posted by . on June 09, 2011, 02:08 AM report to moderator
Omt1_thumb
341 Points

Have Kindle… Impatiently waiting for HP in it’s entirety to be available so I can re-re-re-re-re-… (ad nauseum) -read them…

And “The Scottish Book” too.. Please Jo, before I join Fred, Dumbledore, Tonks, Remus et al…

OMT

Posted by OldMrToad on June 09, 2011, 01:32 PM report to moderator
Lily___james_potter_thumb
948 Points

I love her humor ;] especially;
I’m not proud to say that it’s probably swearwords in every day life. Writing the Harry Potter books, I got sick to death of the words ‘passage’, ‘corridor’ and all others relating to my heroes’ endless movement around Hogwarts castle.

Posted by Miss Weasley on June 10, 2011, 04:58 AM report to moderator
Movies_ootp_premieries_imax_001_thumb
5389 Points

Awesome interview

Posted by Azaad Potter The Chosen One [ROAR] on June 14, 2011, 12:20 PM report to moderator
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